Intermittent fast vs Keto diet – Which one is for you?

Dr. Merrill: Good evening and welcome to Wednesday   Night Wellness Live. I'm Dr. Andrew Merrill here  at Nightlight Chiropractic in downtown Orlando,   and each week we do a video like this,  this Wednesday Night Wellness Live video,   so that we can answer our patients' questions  that they give to us each week en masse. So we   get a bunch of questions, they all seem to have a  common theme that week. I don't know if it's due   to what's on the media or due to what's going on  in the world, what's going on in their life, but   every week we get tons of questions and they all  have a common theme, so we do these videos so that   we can answer those common themed questions.

Now,  as I do this live video, if you have questions,   you can ask them in that comments box underneath.  I will see them, I will answer them live to the   best of my ability, and we'll go from there. Tonight I want to talk about diets. A lot of   patients who come in, they want to know what we  recommend for a diet. They're not just trying to   be healthy, sometimes they're just trying to lose  weight, sometimes it's a combination of they're   trying to be healthy and losing weight, and so  we're trying to give the best advice that we can   based on the research so that our patients  are doing the right diets for them. Two of   the most common diets that we see coming through  right now are the keto diet and the intermittent   fasting diet and they're coming from all different  kinds of sources. They're coming from a variety   of books that are out right now and popular  right now, and so I wanted to quickly cover   the differences and similarities between the two,  but also why we recommend one versus the other.

  Before I even get into it, I got to kind of  preface this with people get pretty passionate   about this stuff. so you'll read a book or you'll  read a news release, you might read a research   study that says, "No, this is the way it has to  be," and it doesn't have to be that way.

So it's   okay if you disagree with the research that  I'm quoting, with the path that I'm taking,   with the determinations that I've made  based on the research that I've looked at,   but it's not a one shot deal. It's not a one size  fits all here. So if you do it your way and it   works for you, keep doing it your way. If it's  going well, just keep doing what you're doing.   Let's go over the keto diet first. So the keto  diet is basically a means of decreasing your   carbohydrates, so let's call it the no carb diet  because the idea is to get your carbohydrates way   down so your body goes into something called  ketosis. And ketosis is when your body starts   to burn fat, your fat, the fat that's on you,  for fuel, and then uses that in place of the   sugar that it's not getting from the easy  carbohydrates that it turns into sugar. And   so when your body goes into that ketogenic  state and it's burning this fat, a whole   bunch of things happen to you metabolically and I  wanted to go over that with you here real quick.

  So one of the things that happens to you  is that you get very quick weight loss very   fast and part of the reason that you get that  quick weight loss so fast is that your body is   burning off a lot of water. You end up losing  a lot of water weight up front, and that's a   good thing. It's not necessarily a bad thing  that you're burning off a lot of extra water   that your body is holding on to, so very quick  weight loss within the first few weeks happens.   This keto diet helps with insulin resistance in  type 2 diabetics, and that's really important.   So what happens is when you're eating too much  sugar, you end up with type 2 diabetes, you end   up with this insulin resistance where your body  doesn't even recognize sugar anymore. It doesn't   pack it away into cells, you end up with  your blood sugars getting out of control,   and you end up with this type 2 diabetes and all  the bad side effects that go along with that.   And we don't want that.

So this keto diet actually  does a great job of helping your insulin remember,   this is what sugar looks like, take it and put  it inside the cell, keep the blood sugar low,   and it does a great job doing that. One of the other things that it does, is   it lowers blood pressure, so as you're decreasing  all of this water in your system, you end up with   lower blood pressure and that's a great side  effect, right? A diet that decreases your blood   pressure and decreases your insulin resistance?  This sounds fantastic, this sounds like exactly   what we're looking for.

The last thing, and this  is kind of like off the beaten path a little bit,   is it does great with epilepsy. So if you have  a child with epilepsy, if you're an adolescent   or even an adult with epilepsy, there's a lot  of promising research, a lot of good research   out there already actually, that says that it  will help with your epilepsy. So getting on a   diet that is a keto diet can help with epilepsy. So if it sounds so good and it has all these good   side effects, why wouldn't we recommend that?  And so here's kind of the downsides of that keto   diet.

Well, one is kidney stones. So in place  of the carbohydrates that you're not eating,   you end up eating a lot more fat and  then oftentimes a lot more protein,   and a high protein diet ends up causing kidney  stones. It's just what happens. It's just one   of the risks, one of the pitfalls, of changing  the macronutrients inside your diet. So kidney   stones is a real risk. Nutrient deficiencies or  nutritional deficiencies, vitamin deficiency,   mineral deficiencies is another common side effect  that happens with this keto diet. And again,   it happens because in avoiding carbohydrates,  you're avoiding a lot of fruits and vegetables.   Fruits and vegetables are jam packed with a lot  of vitamins, nutrients, a lot of minerals, and   if you're not getting them in your diet, then you  have to supplement with them.

So as you're giving   up carbohydrates, you're also maybe giving up some  of these other nutrients, which is not necessarily   a good thing. That's actually a really bad thing. One of the other things that happens with this   keto diet is reduced athletic performance. Now, if  you're trying to get healthy, if you're trying to   get fit, if you're trying not just to lose weight,  but also to get in shape, you don't really want to   have decreased athletic performance, right?  So it's decreased endurance performance and   it's also decreased peak strength performance. You  don't want to have negative anything when you're   trying to get fit, so decreased athletic  performance, bad side effect of ketosis.

  And the last thing, the most important reason why  we don't recommend this to most of our patients,   is it's not sustainable. Wait, wait, it's not  sustainable comparative to intermittent fasting   and comparative to a lot of other diets out there.  It's very hard to get into ketosis, relatively   speaking. You have to stop eating carbohydrates or  decrease your carbohydrates so much that your body   will do it.

It takes a period of a few days, you  end up feeling terrible as your body's making that   flip from using glucose to using fats to support  yourselves, and it just makes you feel terrible.   They call it the keto flu sometimes because of  all the ill effects that happen while you're going   through that process. And it's not fun to do. And, let's say you've been to ketosis for four   weeks or six weeks, and then you go out with your  friends one night and you drink a few glasses of   wine or you end up having a terrible night and  you eat a bag of potato chips or whatever it is,   you're going to fall out of ketosis and  then it's going to take you a day or two   to get back into that ketosis.

So it's really  difficult to sustain and it's really difficult   because small misses can end up having  deleterious effects to that ketosis.   So let's talk about why I recommend intermittent  fasting. And again, if you're watching this   and you're a huge keto supporter, that's  fine. Keep doing it. No reason to flame me,   no reason to get mad at me. I don't hate it,  I just don't recommend it for a good majority   of my patients and we're outlining that here.  So what is intermittent fasting? Intermittent   fasting is any eating pattern that cycles  between fasting and eating, and fasting means   that you're not consuming anything dietarily.  So the easiest way to do it, the easiest way   to think about intermittent fasting, is if you  could cram all of your eating into eight hours,   that would mean that 16 hours a day you're not  eating and that's considered that fasting period.   And eight hours a day you are eating, whether it's  one meal or two meals or 10 meals, you're getting   all of your calories in that shorter time period.

And what that ends up doing is during the time   that you're fasting, the 16 hours, your body  is finding different ways to go about feeding   itself or maintaining itself and it will give you  similar effects to that ketosis diet, although not   quite the same way. So that's the easiest way to  think about it. That's the way most people do it,   is cram all of your meals into an eight hour  period. There's other ways to do it though,   right? So you could do a five-two which is  basically you eat normal five days a week and   on two non-consecutive days, what you do is you  cut your calories way down to like five or 600   calories, so like the bare minimum to keep you  from like losing your mind, and then go back to   eating regular the next day. And what that does  is similar to that same 16-8 idea of cramming   all your meals into an eight hour period.

There's also the eat-stop-eat method, which   basically is one or two days per week, you're not  eating anything, there's nothing but water all day   and you're decreasing your calories on that day  to zero, which means that you're going to lose   weight and your body's going to find other ways  to burn fat on those days. I mean, heck, there's   even something called spontaneous meals skipping,  and I love this. I mean, this is perfect for so   many people I think, where you don't even have a  plan, right? You start your day and you're like,   "I don't even know I'm going eat. I have no idea  if it's going to be breakfast or lunch or dinner   or none of the three or all of the three," and  so when the opportunity presents itself, you end   up skipping that meal. And if it's a little bit  calculated, I mean a little bit calculated, you   end up getting the same good benefit of some of  these other ways to intermittently fast.

So I just   think it's great. I mean just randomly saying,  "I'm going to maybe skip this meal," and then   you end up having good positive health effects. You know, I hear this all the time from patients.   They're like, "Oh wait, I can't skip breakfast.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day."   And that's totally not true. I mean, I  think that started with John Kellogg, maybe,   I don't even know, sort of back in the 1800s,  it's totally not the most important meal of the   day. Don't let anyone fool you. But it's one of  the easier ways to get into this intermittent   fasting. So you can look up research on  breakfast, by the way, it's not that important.   So why would intermittent fasting be for you?  Well, one of the first effects that you look up   in the research is that it increases your human  growth hormone tremendously. Now, this human   growth hormone creates a whole cascade of other  great benefits in your body that's helping cells   to perform better, it's helping tissue repair,  it's helping muscle growth.

It's like the opposite   of the decreased athletic performance that you  get in the ketogenic diet or the keto diet because   your body is actually working hard so that it  can pack on more muscle and it's working hard   so that any exercise that you're doing, you're  getting better gains for it. So number one.   Number two, you get better insulin sensitivity.  So just like with the keto diet, your body   is learning again, when it doesn't have fuel  available, how do we work, how do we make fuel,   and so when you're on this intermittent  fasting diet, what you're getting is that   insulin resistance departure again. So you're  doing good things for diabetes type 2, again.   So this is another really important part. You  get cellular repair and gene expression changes   towards longevity. And so I've been doing a little  bit more research into longevity recently and I   love this idea because what you're doing when  you're fasting or when you're going from periods   of fasting to eating is you're tricking your body  into thinking we have a chance now to change what   we're doing, and then when we get more food,  we can go back to what we were doing before.

  And your body is kind of going through two  different paths. You're going through a period   of trying to repair all the cellular damage  that you're doing, keep your DNA running so   that you can keep yourselves replicating, and  you're also trying to move forward and grow and   procreate and go be a being, go be an animal, and  do all those other things. And so the good balance   between the two genetically and on a cellular  level is happening better when you're in that   intermittent fasting state. You're getting the  best of both worlds when you're doing that.   And then the last thing, and again, basically  the reason that I recommend intermittent fasting   versus the keto diet, is because it's very, very  sustainable. I mean, heck, just like I said,   you can do this almost by accident, right? If you  just didn't have food in your pantry that morning,   you are still getting that intermittent fasting  idea.

Not that I recommend doing it by accident,   but you could, and so it's incredibly sustainable.  If the keto diet is all about what you eat and   eliminating carbohydrates, the intermittent  fasting diet is all about when you eat and just   making sure that it all fits within that time. So the same way that there's a dirty keto diet,   there is also a dirty intermittent fasting  diet. So if I didn't eat for 16 hours a day,   and during that eight hour period I had like  15 bowls of ice cream, well first of all,   I'm really not going to lose weight, but  second of all, I'm really not going to be   healthy.

So even though you're going through  these diets, you can do both of these diets   the right way or the wrong way. They'll both give  you good results if you do it in the right way,   they will both give you bad results if you do them  the wrong way. So be careful of what you're doing   when you're doing either one of these diets. I want to give a couple of quick answers to a   lot of questions that we're getting about the  intermittent fasting. So this is a diet we   recommend and we typically just steer people  out the door with intermittent fasting. Go   find the resources that you like, that you can  understand, that you're going to stick to. But   we get a lot of questions back, so everyone wants  the same questions answered.

So yes, you can drink   water. Yes, you can drink tea. Yes, you can drink  black coffee while you're in that fasting state.   In fact, all three of those things are good for  reducing hunger so it's recommended that you   drink them when you're in that fasting state. You can eat whatever you want, but it's better   to be healthy. So like I was saying a minute ago,  during that eight hour period, we still recommend   lean meats, a lot of vegetables and foods,  limited dairy, maybe a little bit of grains,   but a diet based on lean meats and vegetables  is going to be best for you in the long run. So   during that eight hour period, if you can stick  to that, you're going to be better off for it.   And then the last thing that I get is some  patients come back and they're like, "Well how   do I start? Where do I start? What do I do?" And  the answer is just jump right in. So out of those   methods that I just mentioned and just talked  about, you can jump right in with whichever one of   those sounds the best to you.

So if you typically  skip breakfast anyways, try and fit it into that.   Skip breakfast, just do lunch and dinner, and  get into that eight hours and then don't eat   anything in the other 16 hours and you're good.  You're already going, you're done, that's it.   If you have a hard travel days or days where  you're at work the whole day or whatever,   you could do it one of the other ways where  you're skipping all the meals in one day or some   of the meals in one day.

It's so frowned upon  by a lot of the medical community that you're   fasting or you're not eating, and there are some  exceptions to some of this. So obviously mothers,   nursing mothers, pregnant mothers, young children,  you can't be skipping meals like this. You   really have to follow a more traditional eating  pattern. But for almost everybody else, I mean   even adolescents, even teenagers, we're doing a  lot of research on this now, it works very well.   So jump right in, get to doing it. If you have  questions for me, this video is going to be   posted back up to YouTube and to Facebook later  on, and we'd be happy to answer any questions   that come up in the comments, so don't hesitate  to shoot them at me. There's tons of resources   out there though. Jump in and get started.  That's all I have for this Wednesday Night   Wellness Live.

Go forth, be merry, have a  great week. I will see you next time.


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